Just a show about a man and his tanuki son… and also udon.

Summary:

Souta, our 30-year-old protagonist, returns home to the countryside after having worked and lived in Tokyo for most of his adult life. His dad recently passed away, and his mother passed away when he was young. Souta returns to the countryside mainly to take care of the family’s udon restaurant, which he plans to officially close down.

As he’s inspecting the old udon restaurant, he encounters a strange young boy. Since Souta doesn’t have the heart to just kick the boy out, he attempts to feed and clothe the boy before going to the police. As Souta searches for his old raincoat and rainshoes to give to the boy, he comes across a journal of his father’s udon recipes, as well as letters from people who had enjoyed his father’s cooking.

Love the scenery in this show.

Later on, Souta takes the boy out (presumably to the police station). En route, the boy gets sidetracked by a frog, and the two stumble upon a temple. The monk there warns Souta to be wary about a tanuki that can transform into a human child.

As Souta and the boy continue on their way, they bump into a young couple who was hoping to try the udon at Souta’s family’s restaurant. The two continue to badger Souta about it, even though Souta doesn’t want to talk about it. The boy (sensing Souta’s distress) attacks the couple. This causes his tail and ears to pop out, and Souta quickly grabs the boy and runs. The episode ends with Souta realizing that the boy is actually the tanuki that the monk had talked about.

Honestly, I’d have the same reaction as Souta.

My Opinion:

Most peoples’ opinion about this series seem to be summed up as “this is like Barakamon and Sweetness and Lightning.” Well, they’re not wrong. And also, that’s actually not a bad thing. The series seems to be a mashup of both of those series’ elements, but it at least takes the good parts of both series; and also adds in a touch of the supernatural to make it unique.

This was one of the series I was excited to review for this Fall season, and I’m glad to say that I greatly enjoyed the episode. Souta is amazingly 30 years old–which is practically unheard of in anime. His interactions with the unnamed boy (who will presumably be named Poco) were maybe a little cliched. But you know what? It was absolutely adorable to watch, so I don’t care.

The first episode mainly introduces us the main characters, and also some minor characters. It also reveals the reason why Souta is reluctant to take on his father’s udon business. He did initially want to take over–at first. But as he grew older, classmates started making fun of him for his dream; which prompted him to leave for Tokyo. Even though Souta insists that he’s merely back home “on vacation,” it’s pretty heavily implied that Souta quit his job or got laid off somehow. I really hope we find out more about this–both about Souta’s childhood and his life in Tokyo before coming back home to the countryside.

Overall, this was a good first episode. The pacing was good, and the story so far is certainly interesting. The unnamed tanuki boy could come off looking a bit uncanny valley because his face is drawn kind of strange (he usually his a weird wobbly smile) but he also manages comes off as adorable. Other than that, I don’t really have much criticism about this anime so far. I didn’t want to blog another food/family-related anime so soon after Sweetness and Lighting, but gdi this anime is so calming to watch. So… who knows. Also, the OP song is amazing.

Out of five:

precure heart2precure heart2precure heart2 and 1/2

Well then.

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